Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Day Two preview and order of play: MVG and Anderson collide

Jamie Shaw in PDC Darts News 3 Aug 2018
MVG and Anderson shake hands (credit:Steve Welsh/PDC)

The two biggest box office names in world darts collide in a mouth-watering Auckland Masters Quarter-Final on Saturday as Michael van Gerwen faces Gary Anderson.

The duo have dominated the circuit between them this season, with Van Gerwen claiming 15 titles to Anderson's seven, though the Scot is still riding high from his historic World Matchplay triumph last weekend.

Anderson became only the eighth different name on the prestigious Phil Taylor Trophy, taking full advantage of Van Gerwen's shock First Round exit at the hands of Jeffrey de Zwaan.

Van Gerwen's patchy World Series form this year also sees him unseeded here for the first time, hence the early meeting between the two. 

Van Gerwen set the bar with a 102.45 average in a 6-2 defeat of Cody Harris in Round One, while Anderson averaged eight points fewer in a 6-3 win over debutant Tim Pusey.

The Dutchman has won five of the last six meetings between the pair, including a 4-0 whitewash in their singles rubber in the PDC World Cup final, though the Flying Scotsman has fond memories of his World Series successes over MVG in the final of the 2017 Dubai Masters and 2016 Japan Masters.

Elsewhere, Kyle Anderson steps up the defence of his title with a show-down against world number two Peter Wright.

Anderson, who edged out Corey Cadby in a classic final 12 months ago, has since struggled for form on both floor and stage but will be hoping his fortunes change back Down Under.

Anderson was a 6-4 winner over Haupai Puha on Friday and is aiming to reach his first televised singles Quarter-Final since last October's European Championship - where he hit a nine-darter against Van Gerwen in the Semis.

Wright has never been beyond the Last Eight stage in Auckland but has reached the Semi-Finals of all three World Series events this season.

The colourful Scot, who was also a semi-finalist at the World Matchplay, safely saw off Tahuna Irwin 6-3 and will look to go through the gears over the extended format.

The opening match of the night sees World Champion Rob Cross looking to play himself back into form against fellow Premier League star Simon Whitlock.

Cross, who was beaten by Darren Webster in Round Two in Blackpool, had previously reached back-to-back World Series finals in Las Vegas and Shanghai to head to Auckland as the number one seed.

However, he was made to survive a scare from TV debutant John Hurring in Round One, with the Kiwi squandering two match darts in the deciding leg to allow 'Voltage' to squeeze through.

Whitlock faced a similarly-sticky situation on Day One as he watched Ben Robb wire one match dart in their last-leg shoot-out before seizing his reprieve.

The Australian thrashed an out of sorts Cross 7-1 in Week Two of this season's Unibet Premier League before the pair played out a draw later in the campaign.

Mark McGrath's reward for his First Round scalp of Michael Smith is a clash with five-time World Champion Raymond van Barneveld.

McGrath, 50, stunned the Shanghai Masters champion to become the only regional qualifier to reach Round Two and now aims to prove that upset was no flash in the pan.

Van Barneveld, runner-up here in 2015, dispatched Warren Parry 6-4 with a solid 95.3 average and is bidding to reach his first World Series Semi-Final since the 2017 German Masters.

The action gets underway from 8am BST, with all matches to be contested over the best of 19 legs.


Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Schedule


All times BST (Local time eleven hours ahead)

Saturday August 4

Quarter-Finals

8.15am Rob Cross v Simon Whitlock
9.00am Mark McGrath v Raymond van Barneveld
9.45am Gary Anderson v Michael van Gerwen
10.30am Peter Wright v Kyle Anderson


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Auckland Darts Masters 2018 Day Two preview and order of play: MVG and Anderson collide

The two biggest box office names in world darts collide in a mouth-watering Auckland Masters Quarter-Final on Saturday as Michael van Gerwen faces Gary Anderson.

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